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Hundreds of medical malpractice patients hope to change state law

A spinal surgeon in Ohio is being sued by hundreds of previous patients. They claim that he carried out surgeries that were not medically necessary, billing billions of dollars fraudulently along the way. All told, the doctor and the Center for Advanced Spine Technologies, where he used to work, are facing around 530 cases.

As these cases went along, many patients began to feel like the Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice was not impartial, but was actually in favor of the medical industry. Some alleged that she had inside ties.

She had picked a special judge to preside over the malpractice cases, and the patients asked for that judge to be disqualified.

There was only one problem: Under Ohio's laws, the person who got to decide if the judge should be disqualified was the Supreme Court Chief Justice -- the same person who had appointed him.

The patients naturally felt that this was unfair; wouldn't the justice want to simply side with herself and keep the judge she'd appointed in place? As such, they started another lawsuit. This one claims that the law itself is unconstitutional and asks for change. Rather than letting the justice decide on her own, they would like an independent panel to step in.

This shows how complex these cases can be, as many lawsuits are now piling up and creating a web of information that will need to get sorted out in court. However, the end result could be dramatic, perhaps even changing the laws in Ohio. As such, it's important for citizens to keep an eye on the proceedings and to know how they may impact their individual rights moving forward.

Source: Courthouse News Service, "Hundreds of Patients Take Aim at Ohio's Chief Justice," Matt Reynlds, Feb. 28, 2018

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